Around two years ago, I was infuriated by a Lovin Malta article that called panettone ‘literally the worst thing on the face of the Earth’. I was livid. How dare they impose their own personal opinions on to the public? And about something as trivial as a piece of cake? Shocking. What next? An article about, I don’t know, how ugly togas are? Or how Birżebbuġa is basically Malta’s Miami? Come on.
Well, I now work at Lovin Malta, so it’s time for me to avenge this traditional snack. Panettone is a gift from above, and I will tell you why. Buckle up kids; I’m about to take you on a very tasty ride.
1. Pandoro vs Panettone
Ok, lets start off with some clarifications.
There’s a difference between panettone and pandoro. Panettone is basically pandoro’s fancier sibling; pandoro is plain sponge, panettone is that sponge, but extra.
That ‘extra’ can come in multiple forms, like dried or candied fruit (ew), lemon custard and chocolate chips (yaaas). Personally I’m more of a pandoro person because I prefer simple foods, and I think that candied fruit is the devil, but I’m occasionally up for a chocolate chip filled panettone. The dough of a panettone is also slightly denser than that of the pandoro.
2. It’s big
What’s better than dessert? A big dessert.
Panettone literally forces you to have an extra large slice so you don’t need to feel guilty about eating a slice the size of your face. And, if you’re weak and don’t want a massive slice you don’t need to worry because you can cut yourself a thinner slice, or cut it half, or share it with a friend. The possibilities are endless, dear reader.
3. It’s festive
Just like ice cream in summer and figolla in Easter, panettone only comes about once a year (we’ll discuss Colombo later, don’t worry), so there’s something a bit exclusive about it.
And that makes it all the more Christmassy. A slice of panettone and a nice big mug of hot chocolate? Just call me Santa.
4. It’s interactive
You need to invest yourself into eating a slice of panettone, but that means you can make it exactly to your liking.
Let me give a for example; you don’t need to cover it icing sugar from the get go, you can leave it open next to the box and just sprinkle it over your slice as and when you like. So, on Christmas morning when my mum and I both want a slice but I want triple the amount of icing sugar on mine and she wants (brace yourselves) butter on her’s, that’s ok.Well the butter is not ok, the fact that we like different things is ok, because pandoro (and panettone) allows for that.
5. It absorbs flavour
If you eat a massive slice the of panettone on its own in one go, it’s probably going to be chewy and dry, sure.
But if you eat a massive slice of panettone on its own in one go, you’re eating it wrong. When you put icing sugar on it (as you are meant to), the sponge absorbs the sugar and becomes a lot moister. If you want to mix things up a bit, sprinkle some nesquik on it. You’re welcome. And if you have a slice with tea? Oh my St. Nick. The trick is to take a sip of tea as soon as you take a bite, so that you’re eating tea-flavoured sponge.
6. Its an easy gift
Maybe it’s just me, but if I invite somebody over for Christmas tea and they bring me a Panettone as gift, I would be delighted.
Dessert is never a bad gift. So if anyone has me for Secret Santa, I’m throwing you a bone here. As long as there’s no dried fruit in it. And if you’re in a pinch on what to get somebody as a gift, panettone is literally everywhere during Christmas time so you don’t need to worry.
Now I’m not suggesting you buy all your close friends and family a panettone for Christmas; that’s lazy. This is more of a “I have a Christmas do at someone’s house and I have no idea what to bring because I don’t know them” kind of thing.
7. It comes back for Easter
If pandoro and panettone are siblings, then Colombo is their shorter cousin.
And there’s nothing wrong with being a shorter cousin; I’d know. Colombo is basically pandoro that you can eat in Easter, so you can pretend it’s Christmas again. Kind of.
So in conclusion; panettone is a wonderful, tasty, festive, versatile desert that you don’t need to pretend to like, because you actually do like it.
My name is Steffie, thank you for coming to my TEDTalk, Merry Christmas friends. Eat some panettone.